More turmoil at Cricket South Africa as president and COO depart
Chris Nenzani has stepped down early as the president of Cricket South Africa amid further turbulence at the national governing body for the sport.
CSA announced today that Nenzani had submitted his resignation to the board on Monday, three weeks before his term was due to tend.
His departure follows that of chief operating officer Naasei Appiah, who had been suspended, and has now been dismissed after being found guilty of “transgressions of a serious nature.”
There are also serious doubts over the future of chief executive Thabang Moroe, who has been suspended since last December.
Nenzani had been president of the governing body since 2013, and served two three-year terms, with the latter extended by a year following a change to the constitution that allowed him to continue overseeing the body during a period of instability.
However, his leadership has recently come under heavy criticism amid disputes over the domestic competition structure, the value of commercial rights and opportunities for black players and officials, with several board members resigning and other executives suspended, while some sponsors, including Standard Bank, have walked away.
CSA gave no reason for Nenzani’s decision but said in a statement that he had “provided valuable leadership, insight, assistance and direction in advancing the game of cricket with a focus on achieving transformation and access for the majority of the South African population.”
A new president will be installed at an annual general meeting on 5 September.
With the completion of his disciplinary process, Appiah has had his contract terminated with immediate effect.
In a separate statement, CSA said it “views the conclusion of this matter as critical in allowing the organisation to firmly focus its resources and energy towards serving the game of cricket."
Moroe was suspended on the same day that Standard Bank announced it would be ending its main sponsorship deal with the South African men’s team when its contract expired this April.
Betway, the international online betting company, signed a major deal with CSA in July, and this runs until 2023.
CSA launched the Mzansi Super League, a new domestic Twenty20 competition in 2018, but has been able to secure a fee for television rights, which has meant the two competitions to date have cost in excess of R200 million ($11.5 million).
The governing body is projecting losses of R654 million over the four-year cycle ending in April 2022, and has clashed with the South African Cricketers’ Association over planned changes to the domestic structure, performing a u-turn when the union said it would cost the jobs of up to 70 cricketers and moved to take legal action.
On top of this, South Africa, traditionally one of the strongest cricketing nations, have had a lean year, with the men’s team failing to progress beyond the group stage of the 2019 World Cup, and now ranked only sixth in elite test cricket, while various tours have been called off as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.